Well, it's happened. Big Guy's cold has worked it's insidious way into my body and now I am huddled up at home with a stuffy nose, headache, achy body, the works. Right now I've dressed Little Guy in a diaper and laid him down for a nap because he started whining over a mess he made which precluded playing with a particular toy. While I was trying to clean it up, he started doing this screechy scream thing because he wanted it and he wanted it now. I gave him a five count and when he kept pushing, told him he was going down for a nap. This screechy scream is always a bone of contention between Little Guy and his parents.
I know my patience is at a low point right now, and I try to balance it out when I know I'm not feeling well. Parenting while sick is so very difficult. Trying to figure out the proper way to parent and ensure you aren't too harsh because your patience is low or too lenient because you don't want to deal with things is one of the biggest issues. Right now, I am relatively certain that he needs a nap and I need a time out from him or else I am going to have a mommy meltdown. And, when you're sick, minimizing stress needs to be a key point. You may enforce the rules more closely when you're sick, but that's OK. Enforce the rules, but make sure you don't go overboard too.
For sick parents who are home all day with the little ones, it may seem like your time with them will never end, particularly when the normal routine for a stay at home parent extends, in general, until the child goes to bed. I recognize that, for the most part, I have Little Guy on my own during the day and then, on nights where I don't teach, Big Guy and I split the parenting at night. On nights where I teach, Big Guy gets a half-measure of the day's activities and then we work together when I get home. Tonight, though, I've already told Big Guy that he needs to take over with Little Guy when he gets home. I'm not going to have the energy to chase Little Guy or nail his butt to the potty chair.
Little Guy wants to do all the normal things we do, which often means climbing on mommy like a jungle gym and having a playmate who will pretend with him. Thanks to the achy muscles, the jungle gym was closed today and, while I could definitely applaud his imagination, I was too brain-dead to help come up with more stories. I am sure some of his afternoon meltdown is simply a frustrated reaction to the change, and I wish I could make it better for him. However, I don't want him to get sick, so snuggles and kisses are off the table for today.
As it is, being curled up on the sofa with the laptop and some tea has helped to recharge the mommy batteries, but I still think both of us need at least an hour's time out. Little Guy's stopped being mad about being stuck in his room and I can hear him playing. I can let it go because he's not wound up and I know that eventually he will fall asleep. I will continue to curl up on the sofa and maybe even allow myself some time playing Bioshock 2. The goal is to relax without letting Little Guy walk all over me or allowing myself to overextend and become even more ill.
And hopefully I'll see you on the flip side of this cold.